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The Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain are popular compact SUVs. You might even be exploring used Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain models for your next purchase. But before you commit, beware of a few model years infamous for burning oil excessively. 

These used cars have oil consumption problems

Consumer Reports pored over its data and compiled a list of problem cars notorious for oil consumption. It’s not uncommon for an older-model used vehicle to burn more oil over time. But as CR points out, consuming oil within the first five to 10 years is not a good sign, especially if the vehicle is well-maintained.

The report notes that owners of many of the oil burners have potential recourse because some manufacturers have fixed or discontinued the problem models. Still, proceed cautiously when considering some used Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain years.

A few performance and luxury vehicles are also on the list of notorious oil burners. The second-generation Acura MDX, from 2010 to 2013, has experienced significant oil consumption problems. So has the Audi S4 from the 2010 to 2012 model years. 2010 to 2015 Audi Q5 models also made the list, with both the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and 3.0-liter V6 variations.

Other used vehicles with a reputation for consuming oil are the 2012 to 2019 BMW M5 and the 2010 to 2013 Mini Cooper. In addition, beware of the 2012 and 2013 Subaru Impreza and the 2010 to 2015 Forester and Outback SUVs.

A closer look at the Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain model years that burn too much oil

A 2010 Chevy Equinox at Bobby Murray Chevrolet dealership in Raleigh, North Carolina, on May 15, 2010
2010 Chevy Equinox | Jim R. Bounds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

If your shopping list includes a used Chevrolet Equinox or GMC Terrain, beware. The reliability data the CR team collected isn’t stellar for either SUV. Model years from 2010 to 2013 could experience oil consumption problems. 

Some of the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines in those models tend to burn oil prematurely. To mitigate the problem, General Motors offered to extend the 100,000-mile warranty from five years to 10 and mileage benchmarks to 120,000 miles.

However, even with those extensions, those models are no longer within their warranty periods. So it might be best to avoid them.

GM officially issued a technical service bulletin acknowledging potential problems with the piston rings wearing prematurely. The NHTSA outlined the details when this 2016 bulletin was posted. In its report, GM says some 2011 Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain SUVs with the 2.4-liter engine could achieve less than 2,000 miles of driving per quart of engine oil because of worn piston rings.

Which used SUVs from those model years are better?


3 Best Used Chevy Equinox Model Years Under $15,000 in 2023

Now that you know which Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain model years are oil burners, which SUVs should you consider instead?

The Consumer Reports team suggests a 2010 to 2015 Toyota RAV4. Comparable in size to the Equinox and Terrain, the RAV4 boasts excellent reliability ratings and is a cost-effective, practical choice. Most owners praise those RAV4 model years and give five-star reviews on Edmunds.

So if you’re looking for an affordable used SUV, beware of the 2010 to 2013 Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain. Considering a different model year or a different SUV, such as the RAV4, could save you headaches.